Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
For pottering around town there's enough pep to available, but with just 71bhp, the three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine’s performance can best be described as leisurely on faster roads. Maximum shove isn’t available until 4600rpm, so you need to rev it hard and work the five-speed manual gearbox to make any meaningful headway, but this is most noticeable at motorway speeds or up steep hills.
And while there are other city cars with similar performance, or indeed performance deficits, to the Aygo, such as cheaper versions of the Volkswagen Up and Kia Picanto, both are also available with gruntier engines that will better suit anyone intending to make regular motorway jaunts.
Suspension and ride comfort
A lot of the time you'll find the Aygo is reasonably comfortable for a city car. It is relatively supple around town over softer folds in the road, and remains just on the right side of calm at motorway speeds.
That said, nastier cracks in the Tarmac struck at speed will send a thwack through the body and, like most city cars, with such a short wheelbase the Aygo is by no means jostle free. Rivals such as the Hyundai i10 and Skoda Citigo are ultimately comfier all round.
The steering doesn’t provide a particularly informative picture of what the front wheels are up to, but it’s weighted relatively nicely and proves responsive. City cars should be easy to manoeuvre at low speeds and, fortunately, the Aygo's light steering around town and tight (10.2m) turning circle are enough to make U-turns and parking in tight spaces a cinch.
It’s a usefully agile car that can nip in and out of traffic with little bother. However, faster bends will expose the Aygo’s top-heavy nature culminating in more body lean than a Kia Picanto.
Noise and vibration
Working the Aygo hard gives rise to plenty of thrum from its three-cylinder motor, and at various points in the rev range, the vibration it imparts through the steering wheel and pedals is noticeable — more so than you feel in an Up, for example. Road noise isn't too bad for the class, but wind whistle around the front windows, and especially the canvas roof if you have optioned it, is a downside.
Despite the pedals being consistently weighted, the Aygo's gearshift can take a little getting used to before you're snicking between gears reliably. The short travel of the clutch pedal and fairly sudden bite point also need practice, but the brakes are smooth.